The following is an excerpt from a talk of Jiddu Krishnamurti that took place in Hamburg, Germany on 5th September 1956. For those of you who are familiar with Krishnamurti’s teachings, you will know that he abhorred the idea of a set method for liberation. However, in his talks he often outlined something that could be called a method in the wider sense, so I have rather cheekily titled this post ‘Krishnamurti’s Method’ 🙂
“So a serious person must surely ask himself this question: is it possible to experience something…beyond the fabrications of the mind? And if it is possible, then what is one to do? How is one to set about it?
“I think there is only one approach to this problem, which is to see that until I know myself, until I know the whole content of the mind, the unconscious as well as the conscious, with all its intricate workings – until I am cognizant of all that, fully aware of it, I cannot possibly go beyond. Can I know myself in this way? Can I know myself as a whole – all the motives, the urges, the compulsions, the fears – and not just a few reactions and responses of the conscious mind? And can anyone help me, or must this be done entirely by myself? Because if I look to another for help, I become dependent, which means that the other becomes my authority; and when I only know myself through the authority of another, I do not know myself at all. And merely reading psychological books is of very little importance; because I can only know myself as I am by observing my living from day to day, watching myself in the mirror of my relationship with another. To watch myself in that mirror is not to be merely introspective, or objective, but to be constantly alert, watchful of what is taking place in the mind, in myself.
“You will find that it is extraordinarily difficult to watch yourself in the mirror of relationship without any sense of condemning what you see; and if you condemn what you see, you do not understand it. To understand a thing as it is, condemnation, judgment, evaluation, must go – which is extremely difficult, because at present we are trained, educated to condemn, to reject, to approve, to deny.
“And that is only the beginning of it, a very shallow beginning. But one must go through that, one must understand the whole process of the mind, not merely intellectually, verbally, but as one lives from day to day, watching oneself in this mirror of relationship. One must actually experience what is taking place in the mind – examine it, be aware of the whole content of it, without denying suppressing, or putting it away. Then, if you go so far, and if you are at all serious, you will find that the mind is no longer projecting any image, no longer creating any myth, any illusion; it is beginning to understand the totality of itself, and therefore it becomes very clear, simple, quiet.
“This is not a momentary process, but a continual living, a continual sharpening of the mind. And in the very process of sharpening, the mind spontaneously ceases to be as it is. Then the mind is no longer creating images, visions, fallacies, illusions; and only then, when the mind is completely still, silent, is there a possibility of experiencing something which is not of the mind itself. But this requires, not just one day of effort, or a casual observation, or attending one talk, but a slow maturity, a deepening search, a greater, wider, totally integrated outlook, so that the mind – which is now driven by many influences and demands, inhibited by so many fears – is free to inquire, to experience.
“Only such a mind is truly religious – not the mind that believes or disbelieves in God, that has innumerable beliefs, that joins, agrees, follows, or denies; such a mind can never find out what is truth. That is why it is very important for those who are serious, for those who are concerned with the welfare of mankind, to put aside all their vain beliefs and theories, all their associations with particular religious organizations, and inquire very deeply within themselves.”